Stay connected

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts.

Testimonials

That courage and dedication you so generously share with the world, has inspired me to push myself a little harder, persevere at each task a little longer, dig a little bit deeper to where the answers just “feel” right to both my humanity AND my spirit. Your insights have reinforced my direction and given me additional tools that help me clear my path. I’m wired into my creativity as never before and the new music is pouring out of me faster than I can record and produce it; this is the Un…
Gary
Thank you for all the words. You’ve created the magic drug I’ve been looking for all my life. Your blog has transformed my life, and I feel like I am on the brink of a most satisfying fulfilling journey…You’ve made me see everything in a new light. I now feel calmer, able to care better for my toddler, less hateful of people around, and hopeful for my future. I am not so afraid for our marriage anymore. — Shilpa CB
Shilpa CB
I have been dating an introverted man who I am very in love with for almost 2 years.  Reading your posts have helped me to be more supportive and understanding to him especially during the times when he needs space.  I just wanted to thank you for your weekly posts and let you know how helpful they are for someone who is in a relationship with an introvert. C.M. on space2live
C.M.
This is me. This is me from the day I was born. For so long I felt misunderstood and rejected, even by the people closest to me, because they could never understand my need for solitude, and I had no idea how to explain it to them. Even now that I know more about Introversion and have a more informed understanding of my hard-wired need for solitude, it’s still very difficult sometimes to help my loved ones understand this profound craving for time and space all to myself. This is one of the best…
Sharon
Brenda has truly opened up a space for introverted types on the ‘net, and her self-revelations are always inspiring. Her voice is one I always look forward to. She is one of the writers that actually played a part in my return to writing.  — S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
S.E. of Sunflower Solace Farms
I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister
BRENDA: thank you SO much! Your advice is exactly what I need to do. I am amazed how much you “get” me after only exchanging a few messages!… Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve helped me more than a year of therapy sessions! – Megan on space2live
Megan
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Indepthwoman

Join us on Facebook

Short Little Spans of Attention

These are not my children. Never too early to start a technology addiction…

I can’t reach my kids.  And I think I know why.  They have the attention spans of minnows.  I can’t say that only children have this problem.  We adults are just as bad with our iPhones and web browsing.  Hell, I probably already lost you. 😉

 

Houdini vs. Angry Birds

 

 I have this desire to be a meaningful guide.

 

It’s very frustrating because my kids don’t care.  They can’t.  I used to think it was my fault because I didn’t do enough engaging activities with them, but I’ve found that even if I do, very often they don’t want to join in or halfway through the event their eyes roll back in their heads as they seize with boredom.  I have asked them to fully participate for more than ten minutes.  They can’t take it.  Where’s the commercial break?  Where’s the reward for killing all the militant zombies?  Why hasn’t something exploded?  My mom, a former pre-school teacher, said that toward the end of her teaching tenure she practically had to be Houdini to keep the kids’ attention.  I don’t even know if Houdini could entertain my kids for more than one daring act. 

 

I can and will take the low hanging fruit and blame television and technology for the epidemic of short term focus.  Each Disney tween show is jam packed with loud dialogue, constant movement, and shallow characters.  Not a message or a moral to be found. When there is no message or moral the brain goes on vacation and becomes a vapid vacuum of passivity in rolling fifteen minute increments.  And yes, I know if I was a real concerned parent I would yank the flatscreen off the wall and go all Kashi  anti-boobtube.   And by the way, we do limit T.V., but the damage is insidious.  Other screens creep in, such as iTouches and computers. YouTube offers snippets of reality for hours of ricocheting between banal song parodies and what the world’s fattest girl is up to.  I actually observed my son’s mouth gape open, as he gazed into the flicker of his monitor, spittle and his soul slowly dripping over his lower lip onto the exercise ball he uses for a chair.  At this point, I can still save him by rush-tackling his languid body, knocking him to the ground, and dousing him with cold water.  Who knows if that will work forever? 

 

Planting Seeds

 

A recent attempt to thwart the attention sucking screens met with frustration and despair (mine not theirs).  I so desire to be the family that stays together because we play together, but mental effort is a barrier.  I hinted for weeks for Bryce (oldest 11) to help me pick out seeds for our deck garden.  No bites.  I bought the seeds myself.  I asked,  Who wants to help me plant seeds?  Crickets.  Finally, one day after school I was able to get Anna (7) and Bryce to help.  To be honest, Bryce had sprained his ankle and was physically incapable of getting away from me.  Our middle son, Josh, was at a friend’s (most likely playing Xbox).  Five minutes into the planting, Anna’s best friend arrives at our house.  Anna wants to be done, but I talk her into five more minutes of helping.  Bryce starts planting but doesn’t even think of reading the directions on the back of the packet – too time consuming.  After each type of vegetable he asks if he can be done.  So much for a meaningful activity shared between family members.  Just last year Bryce loved farming with me.  He kept saying This is fun mom!   Novelty is fleeting. 

 

Revelations

 

While ranting into this piece, three insights came to me:

 

1.  I need to do more active, sporty, large-motor skilled activities with the family.  Admittedly, not my favorite, but I have been known to throw a baseball around or take a bike ride through the neighborhood.  Swimming is the one activity I resist because swimming and I are like Twinkies and tuna.  We don’t mix.   I see running, fishing and strength training in our future. 

 

2.  I have a real fear of my kids growing up to be robotical twits with the depth of a cookie sheet.  Maybe it’s because it took me 35 years to freely express myself and I don’t want them to waste time being dim. They could be exploring this amazing planet and sharing excitement with other colorful beings. 

 

3.  I can’t make the kids find meaning in things.  I can only introduce them to opportunities.  They have to learn through intimate experiences, not just an intellectual presentation.  I know they have their own definitions of meaningful.  They are not me.  As an introvert, I naturally gravitate toward activities with a slow pace and deep messages.  I realize kids prefer liveliness.  I also know I don’t do well pinballing between activities.  I’m one errand away from a breakdown when I’m burned out.   My energy is limited by this, theirs isn’t.  Fortunately, my husband doesn’t mind swimming or afternoon trips to the rock wall.  I just have to pry him away from his computer and iPhone…

 

The One Thing That Works

 

We have found traveling to be the perfect family activity.  It combines action and adventure with exploring and meaning.  Of course, we can’t travel every week of the year, but in between trips, we can visit nearby attractions and landmarks or discuss and plan the next journey.  The best part about traveling… boobtube and YouTube can be left at home.

 

 

Is technology giving or taking away meaning in our lives?  How do you maintain humanity in your home? 

Related posts:

When Parenting Overwhelms (space2live)

In Defense of Introverted Parents (space2live)

Live…Naturally: Less Technology, More Meaning (space2live)

Like to read more on how to regain focus and meaning in life?  Check this out http://blogs.hbr.org/schwartz/2011/02/take-back-your-attention.html

********************************************************************

Space2live has a Facebook fanpage!  Stop by, click Like, and have access to daily updates about becoming your highest self as a parent, artist or introvert. 

If you enjoyed this post, it would be lovely to have you as a space2live.net subscriber.  Just click on (EMAIL UPDATES , right hand side of the home page.:)

Please share if you liked this. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

5 Comments

  1. Debbi August 11, 2011 at 2:42 am - Reply

    Technology gives, but if not balanced, it takes much more. There is no brain activity while watching tv which means we gain nothing from it, and I believe it softens our sharp thinking skills and our ability to use…or even see…our creative skills/thoughts. If I want to do something electronic related, I try to make it something active on the computer…it doesn’t always work…but I try. I find that when I do that, I often get board and walk away from the tv and computer all together and do cook, walk, read, workout, etc.

    I agree that if you want kids to take interest in specific activities, you have have to do it with them. I’ve seen parents simply encourage them, and it has the opposite effect. Be creative in searching for a macro activity that you might find intriguing too.

    • brennagee August 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm - Reply

      Good point about parents doing activities with kids. Words from the sidelines don’t seem to work as well. I am learning that now. Thank you for reading and giving heart-felt responses.:)

  2. brennagee August 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    In a humbling turnabout, my daughter told me today that she feels I spend more time on my computer than with her and her brothers. Ouch! I guess I need to observe my own attention…

  3. kateshrewsday August 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    This is great: it grabs a very big scary bull by the horns. I love your conclusions: we can’t change the world we live in but we can act cannily in response to it. Some great ideas. Thank you 🙂

    • brennagee August 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm - Reply

      Thank you very much for reading and commenting. Occasionally, desperate rants lead to crystallization and insight.;) I care deeply about our abilities to reflect and find meaning.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: